Little Gems - The Chestnut Soldier
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The Chestnut Soldier
Episode One -A Prince Returns
It has been a while since the adventure of Emlyn's Moon finished. The children no longer attend the little Primary School but have now moved onto a new much larger secondary school. In the Lloyd's back garden, we find that the music talented Catrin Lloyd has grown into a beautiful young sixteen year old and is lay in a hammock being rocked by Iolo. Nia is in her bedroom looking out of the window. On the mountain Gwyn is walking up the steep slopes when all of a sudden he looks up and sees the cloud moving fast by. A huge clap of thunder is heard and felt by Gwyn and Nia. It wakes Catrin up. Gwyn sees the clouds turn into a black horse and lightening flashes down from the object. Nia watches it whilst Catrin and the others go inside. The Lloyd's telephone is ringing and Nerys gets to it first. She instantly drops the receiver saying it is too hot to touch, Nia thinks it must have been caused by the storm but still makes no attempt to pick it up. On the other end of the phone a voice is shouting. Catrin comes in and without hesitating, she picks up the phone. On the other end is their cousin, Evan whom they have not seen for ten years. Catrin tells him she remembers him though.
Meanwhile Gwyn makes his way to Nain, she too is looking up at the storm. She goes to help Gwyn and as he looks up Nain sees the horse. Gwyn shouts that he does not want the magic but Nain tells him there is nothing he can do, he must accept what he is. Gwyn just wants to be an ordinary boy, nothing more than simply average. Nain tells Gwyn that he cannot escape his inheritance and that he is special. Gwyn does not want anything to do with it as the horse fades in the day time sky.
Back at the Lloyds, the mysterious Evans tells Catrin that he will be visiting them on the Tuesday. Catrin says he will be very welcome. When she finishes the call she has a right go at the other children for not answering the telephone. Iolo is a bit upset at this as Catrin never gets cross. Nia comforts him.
Gwyn meanwhile leaves Nain unhappy about his future as a magician. He goes back home and into his bedroom. He takes out the last of the gifts presented to him, which he has been hiding under the floor boards. It is a figure of a mutilated horse. There is a label attached which states "Not This". Gwyn takes the label off and then puts the horse up on his wardrobe. Arianwen goes running to him. It appears she does not like the horse.
Gwyn gets a ride into to town with his Dad. Gwyn goes to see Nia. She is arguing
with someone upstairs. In Nia's room she tells Gwyn that the phone was red hot
and that neither she nor Nerys could pick up the phone. The call was intended
for Catrin. Nia tells Gwyn that the caller was Evan and the moment she mentions
the name, Gwyn jumps up in pain. Gwyn feels pain in his hands. He tells Nia
that she should have not answered the phone. He tells her that Catrin is now
trapped and something has entered the house and it is still here. gwyn asks
Nia to come home with as he thinks he will need her.
At Nains house, Nain tells Nia that she hardly sees Gwyn. Gwyn feels very awkward and Nia senses it. She tells Nia about Evan arriving. Nain is a little startled at this news but realises something is wrong. She begins to talk in riddles and Gwyn storms out in a bad mood. Nia is confused about it all but Nain asks her to go after Gwyn and support him when he need her.
Back at the farm house, Gwyn shows Nia the horse and explains that there is a kind of demon trapped inside it. The story of the horse is more than 2000 years old.
Gwyn tells her the story of a great King called Bendigeidfran who was the son of Llyr. He was a very powerful and strong man. Bendigeidfran had a brother called Manawydan and a sister called Branwen. Bendigeidfran also had two half brothers, sons of his mother but they had a different father. One of the brothers was called Nisien who was a calm and peaceful man, whilst the other was Efnisien who was a strong argumentative type. One day Bendigeidfran was visited by the King of Ireland who was called Matholwch who had arrived to ask Bendigeidfran for Branwen's hand in marriage. All seemed fine until Efnisien found out as filled with rage Efnisien thought Branwen should be married to a British nobleman In a fit of absolute rage, Efnisien maimed and wounded the King of Ireland's horses. He cut off their ears, their lips, their tails and their eyelids. The horses screamed in agony and no one dared go near them. Afterwards, because of the shame of it, Bendigeidfran gave the King of Ireland a fabulous and precious gift, a cauldron in which a dead man can be reborn again alive. The King of Ireland took the gift and Branwen but he was still not happy. Branwen was banished to the kitchens and beaten every day. When Bendigeidfran and his brothers found out of Branwen's plight, they marched across to Ireland with a huge army. The King of Ireland did not want to fight a war and so built a huge house for Bendigeidfran and his men. Inside the house there were two hundred bags of hide and inside each bag was an Irish soldier. That night the soldiers would have killed all the Britons if it were not for Efnisien. Efnisien entered the house to check all was well and when has asked what was in the bags, he was told that it was flour as a a gift. Efnisien did not trust them and so with his bare hands he crushed the contents of the bag killing the solider within. Efnisien did this too all the bags and the Irish could do nothing for if they intervened, it would reveal to all their treachery. Later it was learnt that Branwen had bore a son to the King of Ireland and that boy came to visit the house of Bendigeidfran. The boy was called Gwern and he should heir to both kingdoms of Briton and Ireland. Before anyone could stop him, Efnisien pushed the boy into the fire and thus started the battle. The King of Ireland saw that he would lose the battle, and so used the cauldron gifted to him by Bendigeidfran to bring his soldiers back to life. Efnisien realising that he had brought disaster on the Britons, lay down amongst the Irish corpses. He was then picked up by the Irish soldiers and thinking him to be one of them they put him in the cauldron. Efnisien a living man lay in the cauldron and then exploded into four pieces along with his heart.
Gwyn and Nia do not know what it all means but Nia reminds him that she is a Llyrs related via her mother. Mrs. Griffiths soon appears though and takes them down for tea.
A few day's later at the Lloyd's house it is the usual school morning chaos. Arguments galore at the breakfast table. Mrs. Lloyd opens a letter from Evan Llyr reminding her that he coming is visiting and intending to stay. Catrin had forgotten to tell her mum, but she blames the others for not reminding her. The letter gives a little more information about Evan Llyr being a solider who had been wounded in Northern Ireland and needed some time for R&R. Later Nia questions her mother about Evan Llyr. Nia wants to know all about him. Later, Mr. Lloyd is closing up shop for tea when he sees Catrin talking to a young man (Michael) on a large black horse. Mr. Lloyd calls Catrin in and then complains to his wife about the antics of the two especially Michael on his horse. Just as they all sit down to tea, the door bells goes and huge flash of lightening and clap of thunder occurs. Someone has arrived...Evan Llyr.
Nia opens the door lets him and he sits down to tea with the Lloyds. Both Catrin, her mother and Nia are a bit taken with the soldier. Nia again questions her mum about the soldier. Nia thinks he looks like a Prince. Mum tells Nia that Evan had an once had an older brother Emrys, who used to love climbing trees and would swim in rivers. Evan though was always the quiet shy one who would not do any of these things as he thought them too dangerous. One day the brothers had been gone a long time and Mrs. Lloyd had gone to see where they were. She found that Emrys had fallen out of a tree and lay dead on the ground. Evan had found his brother and did not cry for one moment. He simply walked away. The next day Mrs.Lloyd found Evan climbing to the top of the very tree his brother had died falling from. He had climbed higher than Emrys and only then had started to cry.
The next day the children (Nia, Iolo and Emlyn) and Evan Llyr decide to go climbing up the the mountain. They soon run into the Llewelyn's family who instantly recognise Evan. Soon Gwyn joins them but before they can get to the top Mrs. Llewelyn invites Evan round for tea. The other children go off looking for a Kite that Emlyn had spotted earlier. Gwyn though has forgotten his binoculars. Iolo offers to go back and fetch them for him. Gwyn tells him they are in his bedroom on the big beam. Iolo gets the binoculars but accidentally knocks off the horse. He picks it up, dusts it off and then puts it in his pocket. The children spot the kite and watch it for quite some time. Later Gwyn sees Iolo with something and realises what it is. He tells Iolo not to throw it but Iolo throws the horse and it lands in the mountain stream Gwyn looks for it and is very angry and concerned. He tells the others to look for it while he runs back to the house. Gwyn runs into his bedroom and Arianwen spins a web. Gwyn must try to recapture the demon before it can do any harm. He sees the demon Prince appear at the old chestnut tree and using the magic within him, he and Arianwen cast a spell to recapture the demon. However just as they capture it, Evan is standing next to the same tree at that precise moment. Evan looks up and falls to the ground. Nia runs to help him. Gwyn hears terrible cries which are not from the demon Prince. His magic pipe falls to the ground in his bedroom and Arianwen's web falls to pieces.
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A Prince Returns
Out of the Forest